SNACK TIME!

Lets face it, The Stay At Work Housewife rarely has time to prepare a meal when hunger hits, and since my stomach isn’t full of gluten, hunger hits a bit more frequently. I like to keep a few ready to eat (or ready with a little effort) snacks on hand that I don’t have to feel guilty about if I happen to over indulge. I personally prefer crunchy snacks; its like my brain gets the message that I’m eating right away. I also find that as I’m crunching, not only does hunger fade, but so does stress; there’s just something about eating a crunchy snack that calms me. But besides silencing a hungry stomach, snacking has been shown to prevent overeating at mealtime, and provide better weight control than those who strictly stick to three meals a day (as long as you’re making healthy choices at snack time, obviously don’t go snacking on some kind of bacon ice cream sundae and expect to lose weight). Here are some of my favorite gluten free snacks that I keep around to fuel my busy, on the go life:

1. Brown rice cake topped with almond butter
2. Blue Diamond Sea Salt Almond Crackers dipped in either hummus or salsa (or both if I’m feeling crazy!)
3. Greek yogurt topped with walnuts and honey
4. BoomChickaPop! Sea Salt Popcorn
5. Cinnamon Rice Chex with almond milk
6. Organic Banana chips (Confession time: I LOVE BANANA CHIPS! I know they aren’t the healthiest snack ever, but they’re better than a lot of other things I could be obsessed with. They’re crunchy AND sweet, and the minute I open the package any stress from my day I was holding onto melts right away.)

What is your favorite snack to grab on the go? Are you team crunchy? Chewy? Salty? Sweet?

WARM ROSEMARY SEA SALT MIXED NUTS

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My family is all about board games, and when the games come out so do treats to mindlessly snack on while we play.  I wanted to make a salty, non-processed snack that seems indulgent, but is actually pretty good for you.  It also had to be something that could be made quickly, in the amount of time it takes my family to agree on which game to play, or before my little cousin loses patience.  These warm mixed nuts will satisfy any salty/crunchy craving in a flash, perfect for game nights, book club, cocktail parties, or just a late night snack.  Even if I don’t win the board game, I definitely win with this snack!

Ingredients:

3 cups mixed, unsalted nuts (I prefer almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts and pecans)

1 and 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp chopped rosemary (fresh is best if you have them!)

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium/high heat.  Add mixed nuts and stir to coat with oil, heat until golden brown.  Remove from stove, toss with sea salt and rosemary, and serve warm.

*As with most of my recipes this is totally customizable, spicy, sugary, salty, whatever you’re feeling! Season accordingly and enjoy!

Photo by Dan Buckley

 

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WHOLE GRAINS AND A GLUTEN INTOLERANCE

When first diagnosing me with a gluten intolerance my doctor warned me that I would need to make sure I was getting enough fiber in my diet because I wouldn’t be getting any from my enriched white bread anymore.  Like I have mentioned before, my pre gluten free life was an unhealthy one so white bread was my main source of fiber; obviously you can get fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, but since you don’t have to read any labels in the produce aisle, let’s talk about whole grains!

A ‘whole grain’ is what a grain is considered in its’ natural state growing in the field, or the entire seed of the plant.  The seed is made up of three edible parts; the bran, the germ and the endosperm.  When a whole grain is refined (think cereal, bread, flour, etc.) part or parts of the seed are removed and 25% of the protein, along with at least 17 nutrients are lost.  It is recommended that at least 3 of your 6 daily servings of grains should be whole grains.  (One serving of cooked grains is usually 1/2 a cup)  The great thing is, a few gluten free whole grains are complete proteins, so if you practice “Meat on the Side” you kill two birds with one stone!

Health Benefits of Whole Grains:

  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and Type II Diabetes
  • Reduced risk of digestive system and hormone-related cancers
  • High in fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and iron

My favorite gluten free whole grains are brown rice, quinoa, popcorn, and oats (if your intolerance is severe or you have celiac’s be careful with oats, although they are technically gluten free they are usually processed in a facility that also processes wheat and barley, so there is a chance of cross-contamination).  Some of my favorite recipes made with whole grains are Unstuffed Peppers, Quinoa Pizza Bites, and Blueberry Oatmeal Cups.

 

What’s your favorite way to get whole grains?